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So far NI:CO has created 19 blog entries.

Northern Ireland Share Nursing and Midwifery Expertise with Croatia

 

This month NI-CO was delighted to host a delegation of midwives, nursing professionals and academics from Croatia who were visiting Belfast to examine best practice in maternity and neonatal services.

The 5 day visit was organised under the auspices of a 12 month EU financed Institutional Twinning project which NI-CO has been delivering since early spring 2017. Designed to enhance the competences, knowledge and skills of nurses and midwives in line with Croatia’s new healthcare framework, the programme allowed delegates to explore Northern Ireland’s latest and most innovative developments in healthcare. During visits to the Department of Health, the NI Practice and Education Council and the Clinical Education Centre, the group learnt about the importance and value of collaborative working, data management and, perhaps most importantly, lifelong training and quality assurance. Senior practitioners from a number of local hospitals kindly gave up their time to speak to the delegation and share their personal experiences of NI’s award winning nurse mentoring programme which allows individual registrant nurses and midwives to develop professional knowledge and competence, assume responsibility for their own practice and enhance service-user protection, quality and safety.

As Croatia strives to implement changes to the existing healthcare model and improve the quality of clinical practice, these sessions provided an invaluable platform for lively debate and discussion on the benefits of mentorship, preceptorship, practice development initiatives and the development of a problem solving and questioning approach to practice issues enabled through portfolio development and work based learning facilitation. Over the next 6 months this learning will be put into practice as, together with NI-CO’s resident team in Zagreb, the delegates will contribute towards the development of a bespoke educational plan and programme for a mentoring system which shall facilitate the education of future generations of nurses and midwives across Croatia.

By | 2017-07-03T08:23:59+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|News|Comments Off on Northern Ireland Share Nursing and Midwifery Expertise with Croatia

From Belfast to Kiev

From Kiev to Belfast

NI-CO recently played host to a delegation of senior public servants from Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance, Department for Humanitarian and Social Policy at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Social Policy.  The purpose of the visit was to acquaint the group with primary policy areas in combating fraud and corruption within the social protection system.

During the course of their 5 day itinerary, the delegation visited the Department of Social Development where they explored new strategic policy areas aimed at fraud prevention, detection, correction, punishment, and deterrence. Meetings with staff from the Social Security Agency, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Centre, Andersonstown Jobs and Benefits Office and Coleraine Jobs & Benefits Office also provided the group with a unique opportunity to meet social inspectors who are at the forefront in leading NI’s campaign to detect and combat EFC.  As well as receiving practical advice on the latest, innovative ways of fraud prevention, sanctions, and repayment of debts, experiences were also shared in the effective implementation of public awareness campaigns on EFC prevention and in the effective use of ICT in designing risk profiling tools and carrying out cross-checks.

By | 2017-05-19T13:42:19+00:00 April 29th, 2016|News|Comments Off on From Belfast to Kiev

UK Shares Best Practice with Montenegro

This month NI-CO, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, were delighted to host a delegation from Montenegro to the UK. The visit was organised under the auspices of a €3 Million EU funded project, ‘Support to the Rule of Law in Montenegro’ which NI-CO has been delivering in Montenegro since 2013. Aiming to strengthen the independence, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary and the fight against corruption, the project will help Montenegro comply with Chapters 23 and 24 of the Acquis Communautaire as it embarks upon the road to EU Accession.

The Montenegrin delegation comprised senior representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court, Judicial Council and the Supreme State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica and attended a number of high level meetings with judges and officials at the Supreme Court, Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice, and Crown Prosecution Service in London.  Visits were also made to a variety of courts including the Rolls Building, Supreme Court, Royal Courts of Justice and Crown courts.

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Building on the success of the first two years of the project, the itinerary was designed to introduce the group to the importance of oversight mechanisms such as the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office and Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate in the fight against corruption.

Lessons were also shared on the independence of the judiciary, policy reform and transformation in the Ministry of Justice, and the efficient management of the courts service and case management through effective resource allocation and digitisation. The delegation also learned about the importance of developing strong leadership and management skills across the justice sector in the UK in delivering the reform agenda.

NI-CO is looking forward to working with Montenegro on the remainder of the current project and to future collaboration.

By | 2017-05-19T13:42:20+00:00 April 29th, 2016|News|Comments Off on UK Shares Best Practice with Montenegro

NI-CO Bursary Opportunity – Cyprus – Study and report on the Peace Programme in Northern Ireland

In 2016, NI-CO (Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas) is offering a unique opportunity for a bi-communal team of Cypriot researchers to visit Northern Ireland to evaluate the delivery and impact of EU Peace funding and to derive lessons for Cyprus’s reconciliation work and use of international funding mechanisms. The bursary covers travel, accommodation, expenses and transport in Northern Ireland up to a value of €13,000 for a team of two researchers representing both Cypriot communities. NI-CO will facilitate all necessary access to contacts and institutions for the research. The research document is to be developed after in-country experience in Northern Ireland with financial assistance from the NI-CO Bursary. The full Guidelines for Applicants are available for consultation at www.nico.org.uk/bursary/. The deadline for submission of proposals is 29 April 2016.

 

NI-CO Ref Number: 111/001/SER-2016

By | 2016-04-15T14:22:29+00:00 April 10th, 2016|News|Comments Off on NI-CO Bursary Opportunity – Cyprus – Study and report on the Peace Programme in Northern Ireland

NI-CO Commences New Contract to Support Judicial Reform in Kazakhstan

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NI-CO practitioners have recently arrived in Astana to commence work on their first ever EU funded Grant programme in Kazakhstan. The €5.5 million project will see NI-CO work alongside the UK Ministry of Justice, the Dutch Probation Service and the Polish National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution to strengthen the rule of law and the reform of the judiciary in Kazakhstan through supporting the implementation of the national policy of humanization of the justice system.

Over a 36 month period, NI-CO will work closely with a range of key stakeholder institutions and groups, namely the Ministries of Justice and Interior, Supreme Court, probation service, prison service and a host of legal professionals to implement both the Kazakh President’s “Action Plan on Implementing New Criminal Legislation” and the EU Annual Action Plan for Kazakhstan. Of crucial importance to the project will be the involvement of civil society organisations in the design of new initiatives to raise public awareness of reforms and build public confidence in the justice system.

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As well as providing a comprehensive training package for legal professionals on relevant legal subjects, modern training techniques and technical subjects relating to the duty of care within the penal system, the NI-CO led team will be tasked with developing guidelines for pre-trial detention, implementing principles for alternative forms of criminal punishment and developing recommendations and advice on practical support to those who have completed a custodial sentence.

By | 2017-05-19T13:42:20+00:00 January 18th, 2016|News|Comments Off on NI-CO Commences New Contract to Support Judicial Reform in Kazakhstan

Jordan Social Development Officials Visit NI

Cllr Mervyn Storey MLA , Minister for Social Development in the Northern Ireland Executive

Cllr Mervyn Storey MLA , Minister for Social Development in the Northern Ireland Executive

During the last two months NI-CO has facilitated study visits for 23 representatives from the Ministry of Social Development in Jordan as part of our Twinning Project “Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Social Development of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to promote and protect the rights of vulnerable families, women and children”.  The group included representatives who work with juveniles, vulnerable families and children, disabled adults and abused women, and the community and voluntary sector as well as senior Ministry officials and heads of departments.

These study visits allowed key personnel from the MoSD to meet key officials within government and the departments responsible for social services in Northern Ireland.  The participants had the opportunity to hear directly from others on how policy and practice in the field of social services has evolved and is being currently developed and how effective quality assurance and monitoring systems have been established.

Officials from the MoSD were given opportunities to visit family centres, centres for the disabled and child protection and family support teams, where they were introduced to experienced managers and staff and received presentations and training on key management processes, administrative processes and new practice interventions in the care of vulnerable families, adults and children.

They had a chance to familiarize themselves with other types of services, including job creation and vocational/other educational services offered.

The visit also provided an opportunity for the group to learn more about EU best practice in the field of community based social care, regional community care planning and commissioning of services to non-governmental entities.  The Chief Executive of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, Frances McCandless, gave the group an overview of how the Commission was set up and it roles and responsibilities in Northern Ireland.  An overview of NICVA, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, a membership and representative umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, and Volunteer Now gave some interesting perspectives into the work in this sector.

These meetings allowed participants to see how practices have developed in pursuit of government’s vision and objectives in Northern Ireland.  This included the policy making system now in place, service planning mechanisms at central and regional levels of government as well as in local communities.

Mr Paul Martin, Resident Twinning Advisor on the project, accompanied the groups while they visited the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to get an overview of the work of the Department and the structures within the Northern Ireland government.  The rest of their time in Northern Ireland the group had the opportunity to visit more specialist facilities and see the work that goes on at every level here and how it is interconnected.  The first group visited a Juvenile Justice Centre and a care centre for young people where they had the chance to speak to some of the young people themselves.  The Cedar Foundation hosted two excellent sessions on their work in supporting children and adults with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life, and followed this up with a tour of one of their residential homes which are fully equipped with SMART technology.

The groups paid a visit to Muckamore Abbey Hospital, which provides inpatient, assessment and treatment facilities for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs, forensic needs or challenging behaviour, to meet some of the experts who had been out to Jordan to deliver training to staff in the MoSD.

The Director of Mental Health, Learning Disability and Social Work in the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority gave the group an insight into the ongoing inspections and reviews of health and social care services in Northern Ireland as an independent health and social care regulator, explaining how their work encourages continuous improvement in the sector.

The first study visit group visited Beech Hall Day Centre.   The opportunity to see the facilities and meet the hosts throughout the two weeks gave the participants an invaluable opportunity to put the training and advice they had received to date on the project into context and work has already begun on putting some of the learning points into action back in Jordan.

By | 2017-05-19T13:42:27+00:00 December 22nd, 2014|News|Comments Off on Jordan Social Development Officials Visit NI

Community Policing in Myanmar, one year on …

IMG_3642At the end of the first year of the project, “Support to the Reform of Community Policing and Community and Crowd Management”, the team had a welcome visit by Chief Constable Colette Paul (Bedfordshire) the ACPO lead for international affairs worldwide who paid a visit to Myanmar during the week of 3rd to 7th November 2014.  The purpose of her visit was to meet with UK serving and retired officers currently working on the EU Project, “Support to Reform of the Myanmar Police Force in the areas of Community Policing and Crowd Management”.  The ACPO lead also had the opportunity to meet with the MPF trainers in Community Policing and discuss how the Community Policing Component was developing. The trainers were very forthright in their answers explaining how they had changed as individuals and how MPF in time would change with new style of systematic training.

The Chief Constable also visited the first pilot area of Mingalar Taung Nyunt where she met with the Township Commander, Township officer and various officer and NCO ranks.  Here she got a real sense for how the police were changing in a very positive and progressive way.  This was followed by a visit to three Wards within the Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township. Again, the community were very positive that the police were changing in a good way.  One, who attended the training on problem solving and partnership, even recited the SARA problem solving model.  This again was very encouraging and demonstrated the communities understanding and commitment to working together with the police.

Reported by David Hamilton.

   

Chief Constable Paul was joined by Chief Inspector Andy Goldston and Mette Nielsen from the UK's Stabilisation Unit in London.  Also in the picture are three UK trainers from NI-CO who deliver the Community Policing component and David Hamilton the Component Leader for Community Policing.

Chief Constable Paul was joined by Chief Inspector Andy Goldston and Mette Nielsen from the UK’s Stabilisation Unit in London. Also in the picture are three UK trainers from NI-CO who deliver the Community Policing component and David Hamilton the Component Leader for Community Policing.

Chief Constable Paul also had the opportunity to meet with the Yangon  Regional Police Chief, Police Colonel Win Naing and the EU project team at a dinner hosted by the British Ambassador Mr Andrew Patrick to discuss progress and to meet police officers already working on the project.

Left to Right. Peter Hazdra the EU Project Manager, Friedrich Schwindt the Team Leader, Police Col. Win Naing, Yangon Regional Police Commissioner, Mr Andrew Patrick the British Ambassador, Chief Constable Colette Paul and David Hamilton the Component Leader for Community Policing delivered by the UK.

Left to Right. Peter Hazdra the EU Project Manager, Friedrich Schwindt the Team Leader, Police Col. Win Naing, Yangon Regional Police Commissioner, Mr Andrew Patrick the British Ambassador, Chief Constable Colette Paul and David Hamilton the Component Leader for Community Policing delivered by the UK.

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By | 2017-05-19T13:42:28+00:00 November 10th, 2014|News|Comments Off on Community Policing in Myanmar, one year on …

Official opening of new Border Crossing Lanes

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci

 

 “Friday 31st October saw the official opening of additional border crossing lanes on the Kosovo/Albania border. This is aimed to reduce waiting times at the border during peak periods. Reducing waiting times at border crossings is included as a project benchmark and the provision of these additional lanes is just one of a number of recommendations raised by project experts and successfully implemented.”  Gareth Evans.

 

Official opening of the new Border Crossing lanes from Kosovo to Albania at Vermice on Friday, 31st October 2014

Official opening of the new Border Crossing lanes from Kosovo to Albania at Vermice on Friday, 31st October 2014

L to R Colonel Rrahman Sylejmani Project Leader Deputy Minister Sasa Rasic National Coordinator IBM Gareth Evans Resident Twinning Adviser

L to R
Colonel Rrahman Sylejmani Project Leader
Deputy Minister Sasa Rasic National Coordinator IBM
Gareth Evans Resident Twinning Adviser

Official opening of the new Border Crossing lanes from Kosovo to Albania at Vermice on Friday, 31st October 2014

Official opening of the new Border Crossing lanes from Kosovo to Albania at Vermice on Friday, 31st October 2014

Official opening of the new Border Crossing lanes from Kosovo to Albania at Vermice on Friday, 31st October 2014

Official opening of the new Border Crossing lanes from Kosovo to Albania at Vermice on Friday, 31st October 2014

By | 2017-05-19T13:42:28+00:00 October 31st, 2014|News|Comments Off on Official opening of new Border Crossing Lanes

European Union Office in Kosovo / Special Representative

PRESS RELEASE:

Emergency exercise to test abilities of the responsible services

Pristina, October 21, 2014

A live emergency exercise to test the ability to deal with a serious incident at the airport involving mass casualties was held today at the Pristina International Airport (PIA). The exercise centred around a scenario of a passenger aircraft which crash lands following brake failure. The exercise tested the drills and procedures of the airport, airport fire service, police, hospital and the Department of Emergency Planning within Kosovo Government together with the functionality of the new PIA’s Emergency Operations Centre.

Emergency Airport 1 Emergency Airport 3

Project experts were involved in the planning working group to ensure everyone played their role in ensuring an effective and efficient response to the Airport Emergency Plan. This exercise builds on an earlier project input where experts ran a table-top exercise dealing with a hazardous substance incident at a border crossing point. It emphasized the importance of inter-agency working and giving clear guidance and advice on what Kosovo needs to do to move forward in this area. All of this work has better prepared the Kosovo Police to plan and respond to any type of major incident. Emergency and Contingency Planning is critical to major incident response and management, and the importance and dependency of intra and inter-agency co-operation for the successful management of a mass casualty incident needs to be highlighted.

Emergency Airport 5 Emergency Airport 2

The exercise was part of the EU Twinning Project, “Integrated Border Management and the Fight Against Drug Trafficking” which supports Kosovo Border Agencies in strengthening capacity in a number of areas including emergency planning. It is a mandatory requirement of the Kosovo Civil Aviation Authority and for all the stakeholders to participate. It fulfils International Civil Aviation Authority requirements.

Background

The twinning project is funded under the IPA 2011 programme with 2 m EUR and will last 30 months (November 2012 – May 2015). It is implemented by Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas with expertise from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the UK Border Agency, Tulli (National Board of Customs) Finland and the Polish Border Guard. This project’s purpose is to further support the implementation of the IBM Strategy and its Action Plan and the Fight against Drug Trafficking. Good and intensive work has been undertaken so far with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Kosovo Police, Kosovo Customs and the Kosovo Food and Veterinary Agency.

Source: European Union Office in Kosovo/EUSR website: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/kosovo

 

By | 2017-05-19T13:42:29+00:00 October 24th, 2014|News|Comments Off on European Union Office in Kosovo / Special Representative